Showing grandma around

It would be fun to explain to my maternal grandmother (died 1962) how a cash machine works. Not the inside of it, of course, I have no idea what goes on in there; just the “interface.” How one inserts this card, enters this password, presses these buttons, and cash comes out in freshly-printed twenties (or fifties, if we want to go wild). She was Gaelic, she took money seriously. But she also had a cackling sense of humour, to go with her memorable candour, and I wonder if it would make her laugh. Looking at the banknotes, she would realize that it was play money.

But she, who never to my knowledge played with a television, might be more amazed by the screen. She would ask who was the little cartoon man in the bowler. I would explain that it is the icon or mascot of the RBC. She would ask, what is that? And I would say it’s the old Royal Bank, but they’re afraid to say “royal.”

“And what is that he is waving?” she would say; and I would say, “The rainbow flag.”

“And what does that represent?” she would wonder.

“It’s the symbol of the LGBTTIQQ2SA movement. It stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Questioning, Queer, 2-spirited, and Allies.”

“I see,” she would respond, dryly.

“Or else it is called, the Pride Flag. It comes out for Pride Day in Toronto. Which now lasts, according to this advertisement, from June 1st to July 3rd.”

Grandma would still be puzzled, but might comment that Pride is the queen bee in the hive of the Seven Deadly Sins. She may not have been Catholic, but she loved anything in sevens.

“Ah yes, grandma, the old PEWLGGS.” (That would be Pride, Envy, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, and Sloth.)

Now that I think of it, I might not enjoy showing my world to my maternal grandmother. She would want to know, on point after point, “What godforsaken soul came up with that idea?” She had not lived even to experience Pearson and the Elder Trudeau. She was gone years before our country was occupied by Martians.

“What godforsaken soul came up with this L, G, and following business?” By now she would be shaking her umbrella. For she came from a generation when certain things could not be abided.

“It wasn’t an individual, really, it was another ‘movement’, the DLPSFGA.”

“The wot?”

“The Democrat, Liberal, Progressive, Socialist, Feminist, and Gay Alliance.”

“You mean the communists and the perverts?” she might shout, for the elderly can be a little hard of hearing.

“Shhh, grandma, keep your voice down.”